Rumours of the beard’s death have been greatly exaggerated; facial hair trends tend to last decades not years, and it was only really in the post-war era that a clean-shaven look became commonplace. But while many men would like a beard, not many know how to grow one (and no, it's not just a case of letting it grow, because you'll like Robin Williams in Jumanji).
So if you're yet to jump on the face forest trend, we went down to London's Ted's Grooming Room (locations across the capital) to glean some handy tips for the more hirsute among you...
Figure out what kind of facial hair you want
Stubble - shave twice a week and keep completely clean around areas that fall outside the jaw and cheek zones to achieve the sharpest definition.
Scruff - shave once a week and don’t cut sharp lines in; you want to achieve a natural look.
Go wild - visit a barber once every fortnight but ensure you clean properly to maintain hygiene. The most important thing to remember is that although you want to achieve a grown-out, natural look, length and thickness must be consistent throughout so you still look well-groomed.
Certain beards suit different face shapes
The natural definition of a square face is beautifully accentuated with classic five 'o clock stubble, although scruff or full beards will emphasise the masculine features of this face shape.
Narrow faces should avoid the scruff style and full beards - it only serves to underline the smallness of the face. However, the delicate features of a narrow face work perfectly in tandem with pencil thin stubble.
Round faces should plump for a well-maintained scruff; full beards only make the head look rounder, while the definition of stubble is ill-matched to the softness of round features.
Beware of beard itchiness
Beard itch is a rite of passage - try to remember that if it itches, that means you’re on the path to success. However, there is one simple piece of advice we recommend to easing the itching; using a beard comb and comb all the hair in the same direction first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
Treat it well
Do with your beard as Mr T does with his mother: treat her right.
Applying a beard oil or beard moisturiser can help your beard look fuller so you can appreciate its true potential. But remember that beard oil can make your beard appear shiny, so if this isn’t the look you want apply oil at night and moisturiser during the day.
Training your beard will make your life easier. With a regular trim and a daily comb through with a beard brush, those stray hairs will be under control in no time.
If you want the perfect beard but need that extra bit of help you can invest in supplements or eat foods rich in vitamins B5, B3 and B9 can help too. So gents, stock up on foods like lean meats, nuts, egg yolks and milk.
Never stop conditioning your beard! Just like the hair on your head your beard hair can dry out, so apply conditioner generously and you will see the benefits. Your beard will feel and appear healthier.